Monday, June 22, 2015

Where Is Everyone?

For several months now, mostly in the evening but increasingly during the day as well, my husband becomes confused about whether or not others are in the house with us. I don't know if that's because he is seeing things (I hope not) or because time warps for him. Maybe there have been people at the house that day, but they have gone home.

Unfortunately, almost every evening, he is also confused about why I'm in the house.

"How did you come to be here?" he asks.

"I live here," I explain. I then explain that no, I am not his sister. I explain that this is our home, that I am his wife, that we've been married for 45 years, that we've been living here for 32 years. Together. The whole time. He takes my hand and says he is glad, then he mentions that he's been having trouble with his brain and that he does remember me. He was just having a momentary lapse.

The other evening, we were sitting in the family room. It's downstairs. It was almost time for bed, so he checked the doors to make sure they were locked. Then, for some reason, he went upstairs for a few minutes and came right back down.

"Where is everyone?"

I wasn't entirely sure what he meant by that, since nobody had been at the house. It occurred to me that maybe he was wondering if the kids had gone out for the evening and hadn't returned home yet. I took a stab at it.

"The kids are all grown up and off on their own, honey."

"Oh," he said softly, looking a little lost and more than a little sad.

It's ironic, isn't it? We are so busy when the kids are home, raising them and earning a sufficient income to take care of them and providing for their needs, we hardly realize they're growing up until they leave for college. The time passes so quickly, and then they are gone.

And we're alone in our big house, just us and the dog, wondering how it could have all happened. Just the way everyone said it would.

Happy Father's Day.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

There She Is

"There she is," he exclaims as he comes around the corner from the family room to the laundry room with the dog, "Gail...Joanne...Caity...I mean, Heather!"

He looks at me earnestly. He knows none of those names is correct, but he isn't sure why. I am folding laundry, and he looks confused but relieved to have found me. I just told him a minute ago that I was going to check on the laundry.

"Who am I?" I ask him, gazing at him intently from across the room.

"Gail," he says. Gail is one of his sisters. It has happened before that he has called me by his sister's name and maybe even confused me with her.

"Do I look like Gail?" I ask.

"Yes. No. I don't know." Clearly, there is something about me that reminds him of her, which is both creepily weird and oddly logical. I take a breath.

"I'm Chris. I'm your wife. We live here together. This is our house. Gail is your sister." I say these things as calmly and normally as possible while freaking out internally.

"Yes, I know that. You're Chris. That's what I said." Alrighty, then. He says he is going to call me Gail from now on, because he can't remember Chris. I'm not sure what to say about that. It is odd, though, don't you think?